Professional remodelers can bring a lot to any home project that you need to have done. Why hire a professional remodeler? They are experts in remodeling. That might sound obvious, however if you have a project that is outside the scope of your DIY capabilities or interests, then hiring someone who remodels for a living makes all the sense in the world. Below are a few things to know about before your hire a professional remodeler.
All Remodelers Are Not the Same
Professional remodelers are not all the same. They have different kinds and lengths of experiences. Some are general remodelers that work on a variety of projects and not just one type of project. Others specialize in specific types of remodeling, such as bathroom remodeling, kitchens, bedrooms, etc. Depending upon what type of remodeling project you want to have done will determine what type of remodeler you will hire.
There are two kinds of remodelers:
- Contractors: A contractor can be a general contractor who works on all types of remodeling projects – from re-doing a porch to re-tiling a bathroom. A contractor can also be a specialist focusing their work on specific types of remodels, such as kitchen, bathroom, and patio remodeling.
- Designer/Builder: There are also contractors that both offer design and building services. In these instances, the individual or company will help you design your remodeling project including providing you with actual blueprints drawn with precise measurements. In addition, they also offer building services, meaning that essentially you are hiring a full-service professional remodeler – one that does both the design as well as the work.
Finding a Professional Remodeler
Before you hire anyone to do a home remodeling project, you need to do your research. Search the contractor’s name and/or company name on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Here you will see if the individual and/or the company that they work for have any complaints again them and/or have been cited for improper business practices. Also search online to ensure that the company/contractor is licensed to work in the state where you reside and where you are having the remodeling done. And, ask the contractor to see a copy of his/her current license to work in your state.
In addition, you want to make sure that the contractor is properly insured. You need to verify that the contractor is carrying the right type of insurance so that if anything happens while they or their workers are remodeling on your property (i.e.., they get injured), the contractor and the workers are covered. If they are not, then you can be liable for any injury that may occur during the course of the project.
Once you have selected a contractor (or a few), ask for references. Then, talk to the individuals who have recently hired the individuals to do remodeling for them. If possible, visit the site of remodel. Ask if the project met their expectations and did it stay on budget? Also, ask if they would hire the contractors again? All of this information is important to gather before your sign on the dotted line.
Working with a Professional Remodeler
There are several important steps that you need to take once you select a professional remodeler to work with and signing a contract with this individual or their company.
- First, have the contractor come to the place where the remodeling will occur. Have the individual walk you through exactly what you want to have done and what your expectations are for the entire project. The contractor should take notes as well as take photos pre-remodel.
- The contractor should provide you with a quote for doing the project. Most quotes are good for 30 to 60 days from the date the quote was written. If you are not comfortable with a specific contractor or you believe that the quote is too high, get a few quotes from different contractors.
- You and the contractor should work together to develop a timeline of project activities. The timeline should include a start and end date and list project milestones with deadline dates.
- You and the contractor should then develop a scope of work. The scope of work document details the work to be completed, the materials that will be used, the hours workers will be working on the remodel, and any other relevant details.
- A payment schedule also needs to be developed and agreed to. Never pay 100% for a remodel right up front! Contractors may have different payment schedules (e.g., 10% down to begin the project, 30% at each major milestone, and 10% when the project has been completed satisfactory). If the contractor asks for the entire payment before the project begins, walk away.
- Finally, you will both agree to and sign a contract. The contract is the legal document that spells out responsibilities of the contractor and the homeowner. For example, the contract may state that the workers will clean up the work area at the end of each day’s work. If the contractor offers any warranties on the materials being used and/or their work, this will be stated in the contract. Also, cancellation text should be included in the contract in case the contractor or yourself is unable to follow through on the terms and conditions agreed to in the contract.
- The contractor should be very familiar with local area building codes and regulations. They should guide you through the paperwork that you will need to obtain from the local town or city government to ensure that your project meets all building regulations.
Hiring a professional remodeler can be very beneficial to you. You should expect a contractor to provide you with the very best in work product and work ethic. And, depending upon your skill level, might provide you with a better remodel than if you had done it yourself.